As the sun comes out and the snow finally melts away, food trucks roll onto the streets. While this is an amazing opportunity to increase sales or to jump start your culinary dreams, operating a food truck requires serious health and safety considerations that can make or break your business.
It is important to keep in mind that Health Inspectors are looking for all of the same food safety features in a mobile food truck as they would in a permanent facility. Water supplies, temperature control,
warewashing, and contaminations are just some of the aspects that are monitored by the health inspectors. Mobile Food Trucks also require annual inspection and licencing. These requirements are necessary to protect the health of the public. Be sure to check for a licence on or near the food truck. This is your assurance that the truck has been inspected by a Public Health Inspector.
Food trucks are unique in so far as their busy schedules. Generally, the food truck will be subjected to meal-time rushes as everyone scrambles to purchase a meal to enjoy in the renewed warmth of another season. In order to optimize customer satisfaction while ensuring a healthy and clean environment is consistently maintained, vendors need to be working efficiently on predetermined tasks. Implementing a cleaning schedule allows vendors to be aware of their priorities during a rush and coordinates tasks so that everyone is responsible to maintain the level of sanitation required in a food service and food preparation area. Regardless of the size of your kitchen, cleanliness must remain as one of your business’ main objectives in order to meet the health and safety standards of your government and create a positive impression for customers.
There are five main tips to keep in mind when considering cleanliness on a food truck. The first is to ensure that the trash is emptied after every shift. This will prevent contamination and bacteria to build within the food truck as well as eliminate the primary source of odour. Secondly, all surfaces should be washed and sanitized before and after use. This means that no cross-contamination occurs especially when preparing fish, poultry, or meat. Third, the ice machine bin must be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria buildup and contaminated ice cubes. Kitchen areas that are not visible are easy to slip under the radar. This is why it is the fourth tip to keep in mind. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it won’t contribute to the spread of foodborne illness if left unattended. And finally, number five is one of the most important tips: don’t forget to sanitize or clean hands after handling money or before touching food. The easiest way for germs to transfer is from hand contact on various surfaces. Emphasizing proper hand care will also add to the productivity of your food truck as it will keep the vendors alert and healthy.
Each of these tips should be examined and attended to before and after each shift, making them the cleaning hot spots of your mobile food truck. It is important to enforce these tips in order to add to the integrity of your business.
Finally, it is important to consider the type of cleaning products used to maximize cleanliness and meet health standards. While most kitchens use bleach for its exceptional ability to disinfect, it does not contribute to a healthy environment. In fact, mobliecuisine.com states that:
According to recent studies, bleach is a food truck or restaurant’s No. 1 enemy to worker health and the environment. Bleach not only causes irritation for individuals with asthma and allergies, but can even cause dangerous chemical reactions when mixed with other common substances in a food service setting.
Consider how cleaning products can contribute to meeting your cleaning needs as well as its impact on worker and customer satisfaction and well-being. Using environmentally preferable solutions, low in VOCs is a crucial part of your business philosophy and will ensure safety for vendors as they implement the necessary measures to adhere to strict standards of health and cleanliness.
Ultimately, the care-free, outdoors convenience of a delectable food truck meal can only be achieved when customers’ health and well-being is guaranteed and not taken for granted. Using scheduled cleaning routines, emphasizing cleaning tips, and using the right products will ensure that you can produce the very best product for your customers. One aspect of Mobile Food Trucks that pose a challenge is the level of competition. Show your customers that they can rest assured that their food is prepared and being handled in a professional, sanitary, clean environment so that all their attention is on the quality of your food.